Home News Ex-finance minister, Onaolapo Soleye, dies at 90

Ex-finance minister, Onaolapo Soleye, dies at 90

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Barely five days after celebrating his 90th birthday, a former Minister of Finance during the military administration of Muhammadu Buhari, Dr. Onaolapo Soleye, is dead.

Soleye, an associate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and one-time lecturer at the University of Ibadan, reportedly died in the early hours of Wednesday at a hospital within GRA Ibara, Abeokuta.

He was said to have earlier served the state as Commissioner for Finance before his appointment as a minister by the military administration of Buhari.

Reacting to Soleye’s death, Buhari described him as a remarkable gentleman and a highly skilled professional in the field of finance.

In a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said Soleye “played a pivotal role in that short, corrective administration.”

“His rich administrative and financial experiences were contributory to whatever achievements we recorded at that time. He diligently served Nigeria. His wit, intellect, diligence and warm personality were legendary.

“May the Almighty give those he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss,” Buhari said.

Also, the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, described Soleye’s death as a great loss to the state and Nigeria at large.

Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, said: “Dr. Soleye’s remarkable career in public service, spanning several decades, exemplified his unwavering commitment to the development and progress of Nigeria.

“As Minister of Finance, he played a crucial role in shaping our nation’s economic policies, implementing reforms, and fostering sustainable growth.

“His visionary leadership and expertise were instrumental in navigating the challenges and opportunities of our evolving economy.

“Dr. Soleye’s demise leaves a vacuum that will be difficult to fill. He will be remembered as a statesman, a mentor, and a role model for future generations to come. His wisdom, integrity, and dedication to public service serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Also, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who described Soleye as a mentor, described his death as a personal loss.

Daniel said: “I bear true testimony to the facts about Dr. Soleye as a great leader, a mentor and a man of impeccable principles, who inspired countless individuals. As an alumnus of the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, he was a great inspiration and mentor to many of us.

“As a former Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State and later as Minister for Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Soleye distinguished himself as a prudent financial manager and acquitted himself as a first-class economic administrator in the application of Nigeria’s resources. His commitment to a better Nigeria was unwavering.

“The passage of Dr. Soleye is a personal loss to me because I share very deep relationships with him as a younger friend and confidant. I benefited immensely from his unconditional support during trying times.”

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